If you’re a lover of old maps, you may be aware of the changes that have taken place on Ordnance Survey maps over the years. Changes to colour, styling, the depiction of roads and vegetation for example. As you can imagine, visitors to our Southampton head office often want to visit our Cartography teams and see the work they’re doing now – and compare this to how things used to be done.
The Cartography team put their heads together and came up with a display to show visitors the past present and future roles of cartography. One aspect of the display was produced by Cartographer Alicja Karpinska, making use of her photography and digital image manipulation skills, to complete an image showing the evolution of Ordnance Survey mapping.
Alicja chose an area in the Lake District after searching through archives to identify an area that would perfectly show the evolution of maps over 200 years. There were a variety of examples across the years in the same scale (1 inch to 1 mile which evolved into what is today the highly recognisable 1:50 000 OS Landranger Map). The extract includes a number of different physical features to illustrate the changes over the decades – with mountains, lakes, vegetation and roads depicted.
The image was created by scanning the maps and then using Photoshop to seamlessly blend the nine images into one complete image. Alicja left the original colours on the mapping extracts to illustrate the changes in mapping style.
Take a look at the image below and let us know what you think. Do you have a favourite era of mapping?